When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Being a Victim

I have been a victim in my life.  It is not something I like to talk about or even remember.  I actually prefer to not think about those times.  So much so, that I really don't remember a lot of things about my childhood and even parts of my adulthood.  Occasionally I worry that I have a true memory problem because so much is a blank. 
But, because of it, I know what it is like to be angry.  I know what it is like to want others to suffer like they have made me and mine suffer.  I know what it is like to want life to be fair and just.  I know what it means to desire justice for someone who has wronged me.  Because of all I have been through, I also know what it is like to truly forgive.  I know how it feels when the burden is lifted off of my own shoulders.  I know what a miracle forgiveness can be, not only for the person who has wronged me, but for myself. 
It is amazing how much relief I can feel when I turn it over to the Lord.  If I can't trust Him, who can I trust?  I know that only He can know when someone has really repented.  If they do not, than it is up to Him to judge.  He will do it fairly and lovingly.  And isn't that all any of us can ask for? 
I know in my own life that I have also sinned.  I am sure that I have hurt someone else's feelings or caused pain.  I know that I want to be forgiven of my own sins.  I know that the atonement was for each and every one of us so that we can be forgiven.  I really believe that if I want the atonement to work for me, I have to also allow it to be utilized for those who have hurt me. 
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that Heavenly Father expects us to pretend that some things never happened.  Even though there is forgiveness, there are still consequences.  The Lord does not take those away.  We still need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and secure. 
So, I use my own attitude to help me determine if I have forgiven or if I still need to pray and work harder on it.  If I can think about the person and the act without getting angry and hurt all over again, than I have finally let it go.  If I can love the person in spite of their shortcomings, than I have forgiven.  Then I can move on with grace and gratitude for His love and forgiveness in my own life.  If I still get angry and hurt, then I have found it helps to pray for the person, sometimes several times a day, until those feelings pass.
The one thing I have discovered is that usually the person who hurt me, doesn't care how I feel about them.  I don't hurt them to stay angry, I only hurt myself.  I tear myself up inside wanting revenge instead of turning it over to the Lord and feeling His peace. 
I don't know about you, but peace seems to be a much more welcome answer for me.  I am reminded of the words to one of my favorite hymns,
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

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